Leadership is central to understanding the growth of entrepreneurial ventures since growth opportunities cannot be identified and exploited without the facilitation of individuals and teams. Entrepreneurial leadership has been defined as “influencing and directing the performance of group members toward achieving those organizational goals that involve recognizing and exploiting entrepreneurial opportunities”. Effective general management such as human resource management processes provide a foundation for all forms of growth where it contributes to profitability. Social networks are also of critical importance for entrepreneurial performance. In this project, we will examine the interactive effects of skills and networking in influencing growth using an activity-based perspective.

We will be using data from the earlier leadership and management skills research work we undertook in 2015. . These are large cross-sectional samples with good measures of underlying constructs in management and leadership within SMEs.

The project potentially has significant implications. Since entrepreneurs are the key decision-makers for their organizations, their influence on the performance of their business cannot be over-estimated. The management of SMEs matters greatly for their economic performance and by extension influences consumers and other companies within their ambit.